Sandy Hook dad offered plea deal on bad-check, driving charges

May 8, 2013 at 10:17 PM
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MILFORD, Conn., May 8 (UPI) -- A judge in Connecticut Wednesday offered the father of a child slain in the Newtown massacre a plea deal to resolve his bad-checks and motor vehicle case.

The judge gave Neil Heslin of Shelton, who has become an advocate for gun control since the Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, until July 9 to accept it, the Danbury News-Times reported.

Judge Frank Iannotti said the 50-year-old, self-employed contractor would have to serve a minimum of 30 days in jail if he pleads to two counts of operating under suspension.

Iannotti said Heslin would receive a conditional discharge on the bad-checks charges and avoid jail time if he meets yet-to-be-determined conditions, the newspaper said.

He would also serve two years probation and pay a $1,000 fine plus court costs.

Heslin has made good on the bad checks he wrote to three victims last year, the newspaper said.

Heslin didn't speak during his brief court appearance and his attorneys had no comment to reporters afterward, the News-Times said.

Heslin is accused of writing about $3,600 in bad checks and driving while under suspension in 2011. He had lost his license for a previous drunken driving incident, the newspaper said.

Heslin came under attack Wednesday from the gun rights group Connecticut Carry, which said he has "multiple convictions for drunk driving" that make him a felon and "the poster boy for background checks and gun bans. But not in the way he thinks he is."

"All of which means that Neil Heslin is not allowed per state and federal law to purchase, own or possess any firearms," the group said. "So often we find that the strongest critics of the right to bear arms are those people who cannot be trusted with firearms themselves.

"While we all, as humans, share in the sorrow and outrage of Mr. Heslin's tragic loss, as well as everyone who lost someone on that terrible day; we don't all have to feel OK with Mr. Heslin profiting off of the tragedy and hurting the gun owning, law abiding citizens who did nothing wrong that day.

"In lobbying for gun bans applicable only to people that can actually pass a background, unlike himself, Neil Heslin has had many opportunities to preach to politicians, including President Obama himself. In fact, it is not difficult at all to find pictures of Neil Heslin standing within arm's reach of President Obama and the first lady.

"A felon within arm's reach of the president of the administration so dead set on background checks. No better testimony to how ineffective background checks are needs to be presented."

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